Mel Gibson on the Oscars


Mel Gibson has denounced the Oscar ceremonies as “a celebration of mediocrity” and accused academy members of treating his The Passion of the Christ as a political football. “My film is not right-wing or political, but they made it so,” he told an interviewer on the Catholic cable channel EWTN (Eternal Word Television Network). Gibson, who won an Oscar for his direction of Braveheart in 1995, remarked: “The whole notion of these awards ceremonies is ludicrous. … It’s really a marketing exercise.” He said he decided not to promote the film for Oscar consideration because he realized that doing so would be futile. “I knew exactly what was going to happen. I didn’t try to market the film. People are spending 15 or 20 million dollars to market their films. That’s a lot of money for a little gold statue.”

Browse Our Archives

Follow Us!

What Are Your Thoughts?leave a comment
  • impossibleape

    great post

    the evangelical church may be savable after all

    John Wesley and evangelical reformers of the past musy be must be smiling a little more these days

    let’s keep moving the church out of the bubble and into reality

  • mark


    Thank you. Both interpretations are certainly plausible and either way as evangelicals we certainly need to be concerned with both spiritual and physical needs to be in complete accord with scripture.

  • Martin

    That phrase leaped out at me, too, but you’ve truncated it in a way that makes me suspect you’ve missed Brooks’ point. What he actually said was “More liberals and evangelicals [emphasis mine] are realizing that you don’t have to convert people; sometimes you can just work with them.” So perhaps he’s talking about converting people to a particular point of view rather than to belief in Christ. In other words, Bono and I both profess to be believers, but we don’t have to agree on everything in order to work together.

    On the other hand, Brooks himself is not an evangelical, and he may occasionally misunderstand evangelicals. So he could be talking about spiritual conversion here, in which case he’s failed to realize that a Christian who doesn’t believe in the importance of spiritual conversion is by definition not an evangelical.

  • mark


    Thank you for the excerpt. It made some very good points and should engender some valuable discussion. Along that thinking per haps I did not understand this line correctly, but I think David Brooks is in serious error if I did understand him. “You don’t have to convert people; sometimes you can just work with them.” Conversion must always be the goal. Heaven and Hell are very real places and the only way to the Father is through the Son. Matthew 28:18-20 and Acts 1:6-8 make it plain how we are to spend our time until the return of the Lord. Where evangelical Christianity has missed the point is that they have not taken the whole council of God (Deuteronomy 5:33). To not present the Gospel is to put ourselves in danger of having people’s blood on our hands (Acts 20:26-27). We must, however, do this according to God’s commandments. We must give the Bread of Life that comes from heaven (John 6:32-40), but we must also give the bread that sustains life on earth. When we do both of these we are giving to our Lord (Matthew 10:42). When we don’t do both we can’t really claim to love either God or Man (I John 3:17). When we reach out to the most helpless among us we come the closest to the perfect love to which God has called us (James 1:27).

    Bono and others who are encouraging us to get involved in third world countries are right on. But meeting people’s physical needs without meeting their spiritual needs is the same as giving someone a pain killer while ignoring their disease. It might make them feel better but it is just as fatal. The same can be said for their social diseases as well.

  • mark

    Thank you for clarifying your comments for me. As I have stated before I came to this site to learn about an area of life, the arts, that I don’t really know much about. I appreciate this site and all of you who contribute to it. All of your criticims of “the passion” as art are probably well justified. I’m not qualified to speak on them. From a spiritual standpoint there are a couple of passages that I think help keep us from a false idealism about this type of phenomenon. I Corr. 9:14 speaks to the money, and Phil 1:12-18 speak to the motivation and execution.

  • Adam

    I was making fun that his comments about the 2004 Oscars apply to his 1995 Oscar as well. He seems to feel differently about it now than he did then.

    He says he is bothered that The Passion didn’t receive more favourable attention from the Academy and in my opinion, he might have done better to be more gracious and accepting.

    But there is a tendency to put someone on a pedestal when they accomplish something of spiritual value (which I think he did) and expect them to be more than human. Mea culpa.

    I wanted to toss in the tour guide comments just as a ‘fun’ aside. I guess that was confusing.

  • Jeffrey Overstreet

    Heck, I’m not against him at all. I’m just not a big fan of the movie. Nor am I a big fan of taking Passion profits and buying a tropical island for you and your friends. And “The Passion Recut” smacks of box office opportunism. But otherwise, hey, he’s an artist of some talent, he made an important (if flawed) film, and I’m interested to see what he’ll do next. I prefer “The Passion” to “Braveheart,” “Man Without a Face,” and most of the films he’s acted in, so, I’m not going to complain much.

  • mark

    I’m still not getting it. Are we against Mel because he made a movie about his Lord and Savior? Are we against him because an incredibly miniscule number of people only saw that picture? Are we against him because some people used the movie to spread the gospel? Are we against him because parts of the movie weren’t exact in portraying our understanding of the gospel? Or is it now that we are against him because he didn’t lobby for the oscar and a movie he made a decade ago had some historical inaccuracies. I just want to be able to make fun of him for the right reasons.

  • Adam

    Yep, I thought the Oscars were “a celebration of mediocrity” when Gibson won an Oscar for his direction of Braveheart in 1995.

    “William Wallace with his head cut off still stood taller than Mel Gibson.” – tour guide, Edinburgh Castle

    “It takes 12 men and a pulley system to lift this portcullis but in Braveheart Mel Gibson was able to lift it with one hand while using a sword in his other hand to fight off three attackers.” – tour guide, Tower of London

    Ah, so cynical.

  • Wasp Jerky

    Yep, better to spend that kind of money on an island for you and your friends.